When we enter the hospital we trust that the doctors and other professionals will provide us with the proper medical care and treatment we need. Sometimes, however, the hospital is negligent in providing the care necessary. This was the situation for a 41-year-old patient who died after the hospital failed to properly resuscitate her after she suffered cardiac arrest during a biopsy procedure. Mount Sinai Hospital was ordered to pay $8 million to the woman’s son as the result of a jury decision after a malpractice lawsuit.
Admitted to Hospital
The woman in this case was admitted to the hospital with various symptoms including chronic cellulitis in her leg, diabetes, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The woman was being evaluated and while staying in the hospital she developed pneumonia along with shortness of breath. While the original symptoms had subsided for a period of time, they reappeared. The woman began having some breathing issues related to her lungs. The doctors recommended an elective esophagogastroduodenoscopy, called an EGD.
Procedure Gone Wrong
The EGD is a procedure that is done to examine the patient’s digestive tract when diagnosing gastrointestinal problems. The doctor was also going to take a biopsy at the same time. A biopsy is performed by clipping a tiny portion of the internal area so that it can be removed and checked. These procedures are generally considered common and they are usually safe when performed properly. The woman was under conscious sedation for just under 20 minutes when she stopped breathing. The doctor was not present at the time and the woman was not breathing for more than seven minutes before resuscitation attempts were made.
Failed Code Blue
A “code blue” is the alert used in hospitals that is supposed to summon medical personnel immediately when a person requires resuscitation. The hospital in this case was found to be negligent because they did not have a written policy regarding code blue or other codes used in the facility. The lawsuit also claimed that the hospital workers did not perform CPR quickly enough and that the woman was not properly supervised for warning signs that she had a negative response to conscious sedation.
Jury Awards $8 Million
While nothing can be done to change the outcome, the family of the victim received justice through the legal system. The jury found that the hospital was responsible for the woman’s death and awarded the woman’s son $8 million dollars. A doctor who was also named in the suit was not found to be negligent in the case. Another doctor and his employer settled with the family before court for $1million each.
The woman’s death could have been prevented had the proper supervision and medical policies been in place at the time of the woman’s treatment. The woman’s son, who was only 14 years old at the time of her death, is now an adult and will receive all of the settlement proceeds. If your loved one was injured or died as a result of medical malpractice, call the experienced lawyers at Levin & Perconti for a consultation.
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